A K Antony
Arackaparambil Kurian Antony (28 December 1940 - ) is the current Defence Minister of India. He is a former Chief Minister of Kerala, having served in that post three times. The first term from April 27, 1977 to October 27, 1978, the second one from March 22, 1995 to May 9, 1996 and the third term from May 17, 2001 to August 29, 2004. When he became Chief Minister in 1977, he was the youngest Chief Minister of the State. He was the Leader of Opposition in Kerala Legislative Assembly during 1996 to 2001. His supporters often refer to him as the 'Mr. Clean of Indian Politics'
In 2005, A.K. Antony was appointed the Union Cabinet Minister for Defence. He is a member of the Rajya Sabha. Earlier he was the member of the House from 1985 to 91 and 1991 to 1995 and was the Minister for Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution in the Narasimha Rao ministry in the latter period.
He was born on 28 December 1940 into Arackaparambil, a devout Syro Malabar Catholic family in Cherthala. Kurian Pillai and Elikutty were his parents. His eldest sister Infant Tresa, a pious nun has been the Provincial of Franciscan Clarist Order three times.But Antony remains as an atheist and respects and views all religions equally.
Antony completed his primary education in Government High school, Cherthala and completed his B.A. degree from Maharajas College, Ernakulam and BL from Government Law College, Eranakulam.He briefly worked as an LIC agent.
A K Antony entered into politics by organising students of Cherthala Taluk (Alleppy District). He came to the public's attention leading the student's movements as an activist of Kerala Student's Union (KSU). He was the leader of many strikes like "ORU ANA SAMARAM" (Single Penny Strike). He served as the president of KSU, Youth Congress and KPCC before becoming the AICC General Secretary in 1984. When he became KPCC president he was the youngest person ever to be elevated to that post. He was elected several times to the Congress Working Committee. He still serves as a CWC member. He is in charge of Karnataka state affairs of the Congress Party.
As a Chief Minister in 1996, his decision to impose a ban on arrack (country liquor) won him popular support.
He is married to Elizabeth and has 2 sons, Anil Kurien Antony and Ajith Paul Antony.
A. K. Antony has been appointed as the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the All India Congress Committee. Known for his integrity and high values in public life, he is one of the most respected politicians in India.
He is serving the country as Minister for defence in Manmohan Singh government.